Summer Camp – Part One

By Jeremy Meltingtallow

Summer vacation is not always a relaxing time for parents of young children.  Without proper planning, having the kids at home for two months can be challenging.  It doesn’t take long to run out of activities to keep the tykes amused.  Summer camp is the best antidote for this dilemma.

I attended a summer day camp in my pre-adolescent years.  We played baseball, kick-the-can and capture-the-flag.  There were field days with ribbons, trips to the beach where we made sand castles and arts and crafts on rainy days.  All this kept me occupied and out of my parents’ hair during the daylight hours.

When I was thirteen, I headed out on a cross-country caravan, called “Wagons West,” which departed from Washington, Connecticut.  Our destination was Vagabond Ranch in Granby, Colorado.  My summer was spent horseback riding, hiking, climbing, camping, panning for gold and going on a car trip through Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.  This experience sparked a love of travel, which I have to this day.

In 1965, at about the same time I was at Vagabond Ranch, Mort and Dik did a sequence in Hi and Lois about Chip going to a sleep-away camp.  Here are the first two episodes of that story.

Hi and Lois daily strips, June 29 and 30, 1965. Hi and Lois daily strips, June 29 and 30, 1965.

Camp Wudacruddie was located in the mountains next to a lake.  The kids lived in rustic cabins with screens, wooden floors and bunk beds.  Among the activities were canoeing, swimming, sailing, fishing, horseback riding, archery and volleyball.  The third strip in the series sets the scene with a long distance view of the entire camp.

Hi and Lois daily strip, July 6, 1965. Hi and Lois daily strip, July 6, 1965.

My daughter went to a place in upstate Connecticut called Camp Mohawk.  This gave me the idea to do a story about Dot Flagston going to similar sleep-away camp.  She goes horseback riding, swimming and canoeing and is out of her element doing activities she is unaccustomed to.  This weeklong sequence begins on Sunday, July 20.

In the next post, we will feature the last four strips in Chip’s 1965 summer camp adventure.

– Brian Walker